April 5, 2013

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): The Scary Thing Is That This Bad Jobs Report Wasn’t Even About The Sequester. It’s caused by the end of the payroll tax cut. Wait, does this mean tax cuts help employment, and tax increases hurt it?

UPDATE: Jobs Report? What Jobs Report? Hey Look, Gay Marriage!

We are, however, thrilled that we don’t have a Republican in the White House, because if we did, the press would be incessantly yammering about this bad news until we were all sick of it. As it is, they are likely to say as little as possible about what appears to be a massive failure of economic policy and go back to covering the really important issues, like gay marriage.

If a Republican president got very busy on social issues at a time of economic stagnation and disappointment, there would be earnest hand-wringing of the “What’s Wrong with Kansas” variety about how American rubes were being diverted from their true economic interests by the skillful manipulation of emotionally charged social issues and identity politics. This would be taken as a sign of the cynicism of the ruling party and the clueless credulity of the hypnotized voters.

Fortunately, we aren’t going to have to listen to any of that depressing rhetoric now. Social issues are good and important; economic questions like jobs and incomes and growth are a distraction from the real business of the people.

Indeed. Plus, from the comments: “Most important number: 63.3% labor force participation rate – lowest since 1979.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: The Administration’s Jobs Debacle.

MORE: Austan Goolsbee: Jobs Report A “Punch To The Gut.” But gay marriage!!!!

STILL MORE: March jobs number are ‘a punch to the gut’ as Americans flee workforce and young people lose optimism.

When Dow Jones asked a group of economists to predict the number of new jobs the US economy added in March, the average answer was about 200,000. Friday’s numbers, released by the US Department of Labor, were just 44 percent of that figure, an 88,000-job showing that paled in comparison to February’s 268,000 and represented the lower number since June of last year.

And although the official unemployment percentage figure decreased slightly from 7.7 per cent to 7.6 per cent, analysts say that only happened because, as in past months, so many Americans dropped out of the workplace entirely.

Young workers in particular are feeling the pinch of disappearing opportunities.

How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?